Jewelry Glossary

Eager to learn more about the world of fine jewelry? Citrus Studio has got you covered with our guide to the most common jewelry terminology. Learn more below!


A bracelet for the ankle (standard length is 9 inches).


An estimate of an item’s value, usually made by an educated professional. The value is suggested retail or estimated replacement value rather than what is generally paid for the item. Usually estimated higher to cover inflation.

Build Up Worn Parts

Different parts of charms, bracelets, necklaces, and clasps wear out as metals move against each other. In most cases, new metal can be added to build up the area of wear and extend the life of the jewelry item.


There are three kinds of batteries for watches: a regular battery (small like a pill, good for all regular watches), a lithium cell (shaped like a dime, typically in a digital watch), a rechargeable cell (for solar watches). These kinds of batteries can not be replaced easily and should be sent out to the watch service center for replacement.


An adornment that is worn on the wrist. Cuff bracelets are solid with an open end, while bangles can have a hinge or clasp. A regular bracelet is a free-moving chain, with a typical length of 7.5 inches.


A decorative ornament that is pinned to clothes or a scarf. They are held on with either a pin, a clasp, or a stick pin clasp.


A clear covering over the face of a watch made of:

  • Plastic
    • Plastic crystals typically have a high dome and scratch easily but can be repolished by a skilled craftsman.
  • Mineral
    • Found on low- to mid-grade watches. These are hardened glass and will wear longer than plastic but still can scratch.
  • Sapphire
    • Found on most high-grade watches. Made from synthetic sapphire. With a hardness of 9, these will last the longest and resist the most wear.

Crown & Stem

Typically go hand-in-hand. The crown sticks outside of the watch while the stem extends from the crown into the watch. These parts allow for the ability to adjust the time or other settings of the watch. When one is damaged, both need to be replaced.

Channel Set

When two or more stones are set between vertical walls of metal on either side. A seat is cut for the placement of each stone, then the metal is pressed in to hold the stones securely.

Channel Repair

Channel stones can come loose and need to be tightened, or the metal can wear down. Additional metal is soldered over the old channel to add more years of wear.


A device that allows one to open, close, or attach items together. Chains, bracelets, watch bands, etc. all use clasps. There are many kinds of clasps, including spring rings, fish hooks, lobster, and box clasps.


An adornment that goes on the end of mens’ dress shirts with French cuffs. The link holds the cuff shut in place of a button.


Glass that has been cooked onto parts of jewelry to add colors and contrast. If it needs repair, send it to the manufacturer (keep away from ultrasonic).

Ceramit Enameling

Devices that attach to the post of an earring to hold it on the ear lobe. There are different types, including friction backs, threads, and clip-ons.

Earring Backs

Glass that has been cooked onto parts of jewelry to add colors and contrast. If it needs repair, send it to the manufacturer (keep away from ultrasonic).

Finishes for Jewelry

The type of work done on a metal surface will have different effects on the look of a piece of jewelry. Some types are:

  • High-Polish
    • A polished mirror finish.
  • Satin Finish
    • A dull look with direct channel lines put on with a plastic wire brush.
  • Florentine
    • A criss-cross matrix of lines that give a surface life when light hits.
  • Stone Finish
    • A rough surface effect.
  • Sand Blast
    • Gives the most matte-type finish. It shows wear and scratches easily. This finish is applied with a sandblaster.
  • Milgrain
    • Also known as a beaded edge. Detailing that is placed on shanks, filigree, and prongs, giving an antique look. Applied by a milgrain tool, a small rolling ball that leaves uniform marks.


Some jewelry items are glued to make them secure. Pearls, rhinestones, etc. Two-part epoxy is preferred.

Goldsmith Cleaning

A jewelry item can be restored to look like new. It’s more extensive than a polish and ultrasonic cleaning. The goldsmith will straighten prongs, tighten stones, and remove or fill in deep scratches.

Jump Ring

Little round or oval hoops of metal used to attach items or hinge parts. They don’t have to be soldered shut, but it is preferred for strength.

Lead Solder

The use of lead solder is for costume jewelry or gold-filled and gold-plated jewelry. It shows that it is silver in appearance but melts at less than 400 degrees, so it’s safe for most costume pieces.

Laser Welding

A process that replaces soldering by using a focused light beam to melt materials together. Added metal is applied to strengthen the joint. A welded area is 200% stronger than solder and keeps heat only to the area where you are melting, allowing you to weld right next to heat-sensitive stones. Stones sometimes should still be removed depending on the gem. See a goldsmith for questions. Laser welding works on stainless steel, titanium, gold, and platinum.

Watch Movements

The inner workings of a watch. The different types are wind-up and automatic-manual. Movement requires an overhaul every 10 years or so with cleaning, oiling, and adjustment.


There are three grades: low, medium, and high. They can be overhauled or the movement can be replaced for repair.


Mostly used for sports watches. The readout is with digital numbers, opposed to a ticking second hand. The mount can be replaced but is most often not worth repairing (requires a lithium cell).


An ornament that hangs from a chain. Can be anything ranging from gemstones to diamonds to shark teeth.


Platinum jewelry can be made using either 90% to 95% platinum. Typical alloys are iridium, cobalt, and ruthenium. If 10% alloyed, the stamp will read 900 Plat 100 Irid., 10% Irid. Plat, or something similar. If stamped Plat, it is 95% pure. Platinum is 1.6 times heavier than gold, hypo-allergenic, and will not oxidize (discolor). Platinum is stronger than gold and it wears about twice as long, but the purity of the alloy will scratch and ding easier. Platinum has a high melting point of 1800 degrees. No stone can take the heat of repair. It is best to use a laser welder. It is the purest metal used in jewelry, and it is seen as the king of metals.

Removing Stones from Setting

Stones are removed from settings in many different ways. If the stones are prong-set, a prong lifter is used to apply the least pressure on the stone. Channel or flush set stones are cut out. Some settings are severely damaged when stones have been removed but with work, new stones can be reset.

Removing and Resetting Stones

Stones may need to be removed for repair work that is being done with a torch or a laser. Extreme caution is used for the safe removal and resetting of the gems.

Safety Chain

A chain that is attached to a watch or bracelet near the clasp and connected to both ends. If the clasp was to fail, the item would loosen but not fall off because of the connected chain. This can be added to gold items and some gold-plated watches.

Separating Rings

The process of separating rings that have been soldered together. It can be risky if the rings have been reshanked or soldered all the way around.

Soldering Rings Together

Rings that are worn together will rub on each other. To prevent wear, rings are soldered together. Rings are soldered together at the bottom of the rings, 4 o’clock to 8 o'clock is filled with solder. It can also be soldered all the way around, but this will be very difficult to separate if ever needed.

Stretching or Shrinking a Ring

Metals are malleable. A plain band can be stretched or shrunk by compressing it. The band has to be the same thickness and width all the way around. It can’t have holes or gems. If the ring is two-tone, it can't be sized down. Two sizes either way is the maximum.


Soldering is the process of joining metals through the use of heat and adding solder (a filler metal with a lower melting point) to the area being joined. With heat of 1425 degrees in gold, the solder flows between the other pieces of metal, joining them together. If there are heat-sensitive gems near the area being soldered, they must be removed before doing the work.

Heat-Sensitive Gems

These are gems that can’t take the extreme heat that metals need to solder. All color-enhanced diamonds, pearls, emeralds, cubic zirconia, onyx, turquoise, citrine, topaz, amethyst, opal, and most synthetic stones are heat-sensitive. If the stone is not a ruby, sapphire, or diamond, it can’t take the heat of repair. If you’re soldering platinum, no gem can take the heat.

Ring Shank

A shank is the bottom portion of a ring. Over time, the bottom of the ring can wear out and needs to be replaced. A full shank is from 2 to 10 o’clock and a half is 3 to 9 o’clock. When replacing a shank, the old piece is cut off and a new replacement is soldered on and cleaned up so you have a new, stronger shank. If heat-sensitive stones are on the ring, they need to be removed before the work.


This is the process of changing the size of a ring. If you are going up in size, the ring is cut open then expanded to the desired size. A piece of metal fills the gap and is soldered into place. With filling and polish, you will not be able to see that it was sized. Sizing down a small piece is done by cutting open the shank. The ends are then bent together and soldered or lasered shut, filed, polished, and cleaned to look like new.

Stick Pin

A pin for a lapel, hat, or scarf that has an element or design with a long pin.

Pearl Drilled

Pearls start undrilled, but to be set on a ring, they are drilled halfway where a metal post goes into them. An adhesive is applied to the post so it can hold onto a ring, pendant, or earrings. Fully drilled pearls are mostly used for stringing on a necklace.


A strand of pearls is threaded on a nylon cord. Pearls are strung with knots after each pearl is threaded to prevent loss if it were to break. Other bead necklaces can be strung with no knots.

Prong Setting

Can be short or long metal wires that have a notch (seat) cut in them as a place for the stone to sit level. The tip of the prong is bent over to hold the stone securely in place. Prong tips will wear down over time. New metal can be soldered back on top to extend their lifespan.

Invisible Setting

When you have two or more rows of channel settings with no metal between the channels. Square stones have cut grooves under the girdle that fit together with a tongue and groove. The tongue being metal, it is usually cast in place. If a stone falls out, it’s best to send it back to the manufacturer to replace it.

Bezel Setting

A setting of a stone with a raised rim of metal that holds the stone in place. This can be a full bezel with metal all the way around, or a half bezel with metal on two halves of the stone.

Flush Setting

Also known as hammer set, this is when one single gem is set flush with the surface of the metal. The metal is then hammered around to hold it in. This can be added to almost any surface of metal.

Pave Setting

Derived from the French word for paved, as in “paved with diamonds,” pave rings have rows of bead-set gems covering an entire surface area. The gems are held by little bead prongs.

Bead Setting

When a gem is set with little beads and a prong set around a stone. Can be set in one row to give an antique look or in mountable rows.

Need More Information?

At Citrus Studio, our experts are here to help! Check out our blog, FAQ, or contact us directly to get the answers to all of your jewelry questions.